What your restaurant does with its food waste can impact foot traffic.
It is no secret that millennials and other folks are paying attention to sustainable restaurant practices such as composting, recycling, and farm to table meals. What you don’t realize is how much food waste you are creating that could be used towards another recipe!
According to the USDA, food waste represents 30%-40% of American’s food supply. If you’re like me then you found this number to be extremely high and concerning.
Restaurants in major metropolitan cities can be the first to make an impact in this category. Reducing the amount of waste that is generated can really help clean up the city. Especially in cities like New York where the garbage is usually just tossed out on the curb at the end of the night.
What can your restaurant do to help reduce this food waste percentage? I’m glad you asked.
Rethink menu items that feature food that us usually thrown away. An easy way to test this theory out before committing to it is making this “kitchen sink” the special of the day.
Use your employees: Let them judge this new dish first. Your employees know your restaurant menu well, give them a taste test and score sheet to honestly review the potential item. You want to make sure that your potential new dish item fits in on your menu!
Spread awareness: After doing your research share your knowledge with your followers on social media.
Instagram and Facebook are great for posting photos and small bios about the process you have gone through to reduce and reuse food waste.
Twitter is an important social media tool when it comes to spreading the word because you can easily attract food leaders and restaurant industry leaders by tweeting directly at them or using relevant hashtags. Make sure to position your restaurant as one that observes sustainable practices by retweeting articles or commenting on relevant Facebook conversations. All of these efforts could lead to the press picking up your story!
Remember that food waste is not gross, it is just the food you normally think you can’t use to create another item. Reusing food waste items will prove to your community that you are conscious of the environment and up-to-date on sustainable practices.
Even if your customers came to your restaurant before you began repurposing food waste it will give them a reason to try something new or talk about it with a friend!
Gina Lee De Freitas has 15+ years marketing the restaurant industry. She is the Chief Operating Officer/ Partner at IMM, a digital ad agency.